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Mon, Dec 06, 2010

Cessna v Taylorcraft -- Everyone Lives, But Nobody Wins

SEE and AVOID!!!!

No Mid-Air is the result of a single error... but a series of errors in which the avoidance of any one factor might have averted disaster for all concerned. In this case, two high-wing aircraft's flight paths converged... with a surprisingly survivable result. It doesn't usually end this way. Read on and learn a few things from the sequence of events that almost destroyed two aircraft and their crews.

NTSB Identification: WPR11LA068B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 01, 2010 in Madras, OR
Aircraft: CESSNA 185A, registration: N1699Z
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On December 1, 2010, about 1130 Pacific standard time, the propeller of a Taylorcraft BC-65, N23619, and the aft portion of the empennage of a Cessna 185A, N1699Z, came in contact with each other while both aircraft were on visual flight rules (VFR) final approach to Madras Airport, Madras, Oregon. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and in his student in the Taylorcraft, which was not radio equipped, were not injured, but the airplane, which is owned and operated by Berg Air, sustained substantial damage. The airline transport pilot and his passenger in the Cessna were also uninjured, but the Cessna, which was owned and operated by the passenger, also sustained substantial damage. The occupants of the Taylorcraft were on a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 local instructional flight, and the occupants of the Cessna were on a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal pleasure flight. The pilot of the Cessna was on his second circuit of the VFR pattern, and the occupants of the Taylorcraft were on their first of a planned multiple circuits of the VFR pattern after returning from a training flight in the local area. Neither aircraft was on a flight plan.

C185 Illustration

According to the occupants of the Taylorcraft, they did not see the Cessna until they were on short final, whereupon the empennage of the Cessna suddenly appeared underneath and very close to the left wing of their airplane. The CFI, who was flying at the time, immediately tried to bank to the right, but the propeller of the Taylorcraft came in contact with the Cessna before he could gain separation. After impacting the Cessna, the Taylorcraft's propeller stopped turning, and therefore the CFI made a power-off landing on the extended 1,800-foot paved stop-way of the old military runway.

According to the pilot of the Cessna, neither occupant ever saw the Taylorcraft, but while on short final they heard a loud bang come from the aft end of their airplane. Immediately after they heard the bang, the airplane pitched down and rolled to the right, but the pilot was able to regain control and continue flying straight ahead. Because the occupants were unaware that their airplane had come in contact with another airplane, and because they thought they had either impacted a large bird or experienced some sort of mechanical failure, they elected to climb straight ahead and land at their home airport, which was about 10 minutes away. It was not until after landing at their home airport and inspecting the airplane that the occupants of the Cessna realized there had been a mid-air collision.

Taylorcraft File Photo

At the time of the accident, there were scattered clouds about 3,000 feet above ground level (AGL) and a visibility of more than 10 miles.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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